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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

GREEK EDUCATION                         41

But, in the second place, though the making of good citizens
is a worthy aim for the educator, it is not the only aim or even
the highest aim; for the reason of man is not confined in its
operation to the curbing of passion* It has a pure activity of
its own, without reference to the irrational parts of the soul,
that raises man towards the divine. Of all creatures man alone
is able to think of a good higher than his own good, and con-
sequently it is impossible for him to find complete satisfaction
in the life of affairs. Like the gods, he is able to enjoy a life of
speculation, and become, us Pluto said, the spectator of all time.
Science is open to him: by the activity of his intellect he can
penetrate to the laws of the universe. Art and literature are open
to him: he may produce, or enjoy what others have produced*
Religion is open to him; he may have the vision of all things in
God* It is true that it is only at special times that he can rise
to the height of his possibilities. The full activity of the specula-
tive life is reserved for God Himself; but only in so far as man
attains to the divine level can he be completely happy.

It follows from this that there is more for the educator to do
than to train up citizens for a particular State* To do justice to
human nature, he must also prepare the youth for the blessed
life that knows nothing of the limits of nationality* " The
whole life," says Aristotle, " is divided into two parts, business
and leisure, war and peace, and all our actions are divided into
such as are useful and such as are fine. Our choice between
these classes of actions is necessarily determined by our preference
for the higher or the lower part of the soul and their respective
activities* We ought to choose war for the sake of peace, and
business for the sake of leisure, and what is useful for the sake
of what is fine* , , , These are the aims we have to keep in view
in the education of children and people of every age who require
education/*'*1 In a word, the highest aim of education is to prepare
for the right enjoyment of leisure, to make sure that when the
practical affairs of life have received due attention the soul will
be able to see the divine vision and find its highest happiness in
it, This is a notable conclusion, all the more notable because it
contradicts the fundamental principles on which Greek life
rested, Plato was ready to recognise the possibility of a small
ruling class rising above the limits of civic duties and finding a

, viiť 14*